Best Trout Lures

By Peter St. James

Well, with the spring gobbler season set to end on May 31st and the Moose Lottery applications due by midnight on May 31st, we can now turn our attention to fishing.

New Hampshire offers two free fishing days each year, (The first Saturday in June and The third Saturday in January) so make plans to get out with family and friends. Youth under age 16 do not need a license to fish in New Hampshire. State residents and nonresidents alike can fish any inland water – or saltwater – in the state that day without a fishing license. But, season dates, bag limits and all other fishing regulations must be followed on Free Fishing Day and that persons participating in a fishing tournament must still hold a license, even on that day.

Bass Season

And don’t forget that the Catch & Release period for bass fishing is May 15th – June 15th.

No doubt you seen those outdoor articles that use headlines like, “The only five lures you need for trout”. The chances are pretty good that a maker of those lures is behind the articles. So objectivity may be out the window. But, I think they’re on to something. The days of going afield with two or three tackle boxes loaded with everything is kind of passe. Looking around, I get the sense that there’s somewhat of a minimalist movement taking place. I can remember some of the best times I’ve had fishing and invariably it was just me the rod, reel and few hooks. I wasn’t horsing around twenty pounds of tackle at the same time. Now I get it if you’re going to be off the grid for a few days, but how often does that happen?

One column suggested these were the only five lures you’d need for trout. A wooly bugger, a red and white Dardevle spoon, a Flatfish, a Rapala original floater and a Worden’s Rooster Tail. You know…that’s not a bad list? Of course, I’d have to tweak it a bit to reflect my experiences and expectations. The wooly bugger and the Dardevle would stay. I’d replace the Flatfish with a Panther Martin. In clear water I’d opt for the yellow body with red dots. On my list the Rapala Original Floater would be replaced by a jointed Rebel Minnow as a “broke-back” Rebel. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original floater and have taken lots of fish with it. And while it has plenty of action, I’m convinced that the “broke back” version has even more action. And finally, I’d replace the Rooster Tail with a Mepps Aglia Spinner. With or without the signature squirrel tail dressing, the Aglia is a trout catcher.


Are any five lures “guaranteed” trout catchers? Of course not. But, your chances are enhanced. You don’t have to travel light every outing. It could be every second or third trip. Who knows? You may get to like it.

Fish and Game Department has set final season dates and bag limits for the 2024–2025 waterfowl hunting season.

Duck Season

The regular duck season is 60 days long with a bag limit of six birds daily. The regular Canada goose season is 60 days long with two birds allowed in the daily bag.

The Northern Zone opens on October 2 and runs through November 30, 2024.

The Inland and Connecticut River Zone opens on October 9 and runs through November 11, and then reopens November 27 through December 22, 2024.

The Coastal Zone opens on October 3 and runs through October 9, and then reopens November 27, 2024 and runs through January 18, 2025.

New next year, New Hampshire will hold a Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Weekend on January 25–26, 2025. Will tell you more later but excited to add this to the calendar!

Peter St. James is a member of the New England Outdoor Writers Association, Outdoor Writers Association of America and is a licensed NH Fishing Guide. You can reach him at : [email protected]

For more articles about hunting, fishing and the great outdoors, be sure to subscribe to the Northwoods Sporting Journal.

Reader Feedback

The Northwoods Sporting Journal is the largest hunting & fishing magazine in the Northeast.